Golden Gate Photo - Waterfalls of Yosemite Gallery
Fine Art Photography from Yosemite National Park.


Among the biggest attractions in Yosemite National Park are the waterfalls. Rainfall and snowfall, predominantly in the winter, feed a number of falls that flow year round. Other falls in the park may only flow during peak runoff periods. Late spring to early summer is typically the peak season for the waterfalls in Yosemite as the warming temperatures begin to melt the winter snow pack. Yosemite valley is endowed with some of the tallest waterfalls in North America, thanks to the retreating of glaciers which carved their way into the valley during the Pleistocene Epoch. The result was the creation of steep valley walls and hanging valleys.

More images of waterfalls

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

Dramatically freefalling in two segments separated by a cascade, Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in North America, and the eighth highest in the world with a combined drop of 2,425 feet (739 meters). Along with Bridalveil Falls, these are the most recognized and accessible waterfalls in the park. In this image, taken at the end of May after a wet previous couple of months, the flow was at its peak. This perspective is from an area undergoing a major restoration project.

Print No. A03-17-2

Yosemite Falls from Taft Point

Yosemite Falls from Taft Point

Here is another view of Yosemite Falls, this time from Taft Point. Taft Point jets out from the south rim of Yosemite Valley at an elevation of 7,503 feet (2,287 meters). Looking northeast across the valley, this is the view of Yosemite Falls. From this perspective, you can see the upper and lower falls, separated by a cascading section formed by one of several horizontal fractures (look for the dark vegetation bands).

Print No. A02-16-9

Moonlit Yosemite Falls and Pogonip Fog

Moonlit Yosemite Falls and Pogonip Fog

This view of Yosemite Falls, from the meadow in the center of the valley, was taken shortly before midnight during a February full moon. In this 10 minute exposure, the blue color of the sky is visible, as well as the circular tracks of the stars around the North Star, and the waterfalls almost glow in the moonlight. Pogonip Fog, composed of tiny particles of ice, hovers low above the ground. Pogonip is a Native American word for icy fog.

Print No. A05-2-9

Spotlight on Bridalveil Falls

Spotlight on Bridalveil Falls

Bridalveil Falls is a classic example of a hanging valley. The Pleistocene-age glaciers that scoured Yosemite Valley carved away at the granite and granodiorite, undercutting the side canyon now hanging 620 feet (189 meters) above the valley floor. The angled peaks behind Bridalveil Falls are the Cathedral Rocks.

Print No. B96-15

California Falls

California Falls

California Falls is located along the Tuolumne River, less than 2 miles downstream of the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp, and about 7 miles from Tuolumne Meadows. California Falls is the first of a sequence of cascades as the Tuolumne River enters the "Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne".

Print No. A03-32-9

Illilouette Falls

Illilouette Falls

On the trail to the top of Half Dome, Illilouette Falls is the first falls encountered, seen to the south-southwest before the Vernal Falls Bridge crossing. It has a drop of 370 feet (113 meters) over sheer granite faces. This image was taken at sunrise.

Print No. A03-17-3

Vernal Falls and Merced River

Vernal Falls and Merced River

Taken from the Vernal Falls Bridge, crossing the Merced River, along the trail to the top of Half Dome, Vernal Falls is first seen (in the background) from the trail. It drops 317 feet (97 meters), but is a much broader waterfall than the others in the valley. One trail option above this point is the "Mist" Trail. However, during the peak flow season, the hikers on this trail will likely get soaked.

Print No. A02-16-2

Double Rainbow under Vernal Falls

Double Rainbow under Vernal Falls

Taken in late July, the flow of the Merced River has subsided enough to approach the the falls without getting too wet. This also allows you to witness one of the most beautiful visions in Yosemite - a double rainbow as sunlight in the early afternoon reflects off the spray at the base of the falls.

Print No. A04-15-3

Nevada Falls

Nevada Falls

Continuing up the trail to the top of Half Dome, Nevada Falls are the most impressive of the hike, especially seen here from the John Muir Trail. This fall descends 594 feet (181 meters).

Print No. A02-16-1

Nevada Falls and Rainbow

Nevada Falls and Rainbow

From the John Muir Trail in the late afternoon, when the sun is out and the falls are really flowing, the mist catches the sunlight resulting in dancing rainbow colors.

Print No. A03-19-3

Snow Creek Falls

Snow Creek Falls

This image is the view north across Yosemite Valley from just east of Half Dome. Snow Creek Falls, seen in the far side of the valley, is tied with Sentinal Falls for the second tallest waterfall in the park with a drop of 2,000 feet (610 meters).

Print No. A03-17-8

Ribbon Falls

Ribbon Falls

Lying just west of El Capitan, Ribbon Falls is another impressive waterfall, with a drop of 1,612 feet (491 meters). It is a narrow falls that only flows during high runoff periods.

Print No. A03-17-1

Page 1 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery
Page 2 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - YOSEMITE IN WINTER
Page 3 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - TUOLUMNE MEADOWS AND VICINITY, PART 1
Page 4 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - TUOLUMNE MEADOWS AND VICINITY, PART 2
Page 5 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - ASSORTED IMAGES OF HALF DOME
Page 6 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - THE TRIP TO HALF DOME SUMMIT
Page 7 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - THE TRIP TO MOUNT DANA SUMMIT
Page 9 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - HIGH SIERRA CAMPS
BACK TO CALIFORNIA GALLERY   BACK TO WESTERN U.S. GALLERY   BACK TO MAIN GALLERY


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